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Halestorm

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halestorm

Halestorm

Photo: Chris Phelps & Alex R. Kirzhner.

Overview:

Halestorm are unique among modern hard rock bands in that they're one of the few to be fronted by a female lead singer, Lzzy Hale. In a genre dominated by men, that helps Halestorm stand out, although this quartet further distinguish themselves by singing about relationships with grit and candor. Grammy-winners who play to the strengths of their genre without necessarily transcending them, Halestorm are a competent if not particularly spectacular band.

Early Days:

Lzzy Hale formed the band with her younger brother Arejay, who plays drums. In the early 2000s, they added guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith, becoming Halestorm. Within a few years, they had put out a live EP, One and Done, and had signed to Atlantic Records.

A Post-Grunge Debut:

In 2009, Halestorm released their self-titled debut, resulting in the hit singles "I Get Off" and "It's Not You." Working in a slick, post-grunge vein, the band rode Hale's sexy, fiery vocals over conventional tunes that sometimes overemphasized her bad-girl demeanor. Still, producer Howard Benson made sure the hooks glistened and the arrangements were tight, even if listeners had heard this sort of radio-ready rock before.

'The Strange Case of...':

The band returned in 2012 with The Strange Case of..., a stronger set of tunes that were once again overseen by Benson. Displaying more confidence in delivering arena-rock anthems like "Here's to Us" and "I Miss the Misery," Halestorm drew comparisons to peers like Shinedown. Because she works in a rock format, Hale of course also gets comparisons to Courtney Love, although Hale's dissection of gender politics to date isn't as dark or compelling as Love's. Still, The Strange Case of... helped raise the band's profile -- as did a surprising Grammy win for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for "Love Bites (So Do I)," which beat out stiff competition from the likes of Anthrax and Megadeth.

Band Members:

Arejay Hale - drums
Lzzy Hale - vocals, guitars
Joe Hottinger - guitar
Josh Smith - bass

Discography:

One and Done (live EP) (2006) (Purchase/Download)
Halestorm (2009) (Purchase/Download)
Live in Philly 2010 (live album) (2010) (Purchase/Download)
ReAnimate (covers EP) (2011) (Purchase/Download)
The Strange Case of... (2012) (Purchase/Download)

Halestorm Quotes:

Lzzy Hale on the inclusion of "Here's to Us" on Glee.
"You get a band like us, one of our songs in that format, and on that TV show, you're exposing yourself to people that normally would never be seeking you out, you know what I mean? So we have a lot of younger fans now that come to the shows, because they heard it on Glee." (Guitar World, June 15, 2012)

Lzzy Hale on the reality of being the only woman in her band -- and on lots of tours.
"I've been blessed as a chick to be pretty much the only girl on the bill on all of these tours; you feel like you're the little sister almost of all of these guys who have had these 10- to 12-year careers and you're sittin' here and you're kind of like the new girl, but it comes to the point on a tour where I don't even really notice that I'm the only girl because they're such sweethearts and they make me laugh. I think that's a big part of what I love about the boys in the band too and what I find attractive in men in general is really the ability to not take everything so seriously because it is rock 'n' roll after all; it's a freakin' circus, we're not accountants here." (Loudwire, January 13, 2012)

Lzzy Hale on playing with Megadeth.
"We met [Dave Mustaine] twice before we played with them, and he is a really sweet guy. But when we played with them, nobody was allowed to look at him. He gets in a zone, which we can also respect." (About.com, May 23, 2011)

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